You fail to see the importance of the kernel and its license, with such a remark. Android is indeed the Linux kernel combined with mostly GPL and Apache Licensed code, also a little bit of proprietary licensed software is in the mix.
Android can only use hardware thanks to Linux support. And for certain device drivers, such as the GPU support on most most android smartphones (but also other device drivers sometimes), this is implemented with proprietary licensed binary drivers.
This means it isn't very easy to port Cyanogenmod or other Android Open Source Project based versions of Android to all smartphones.
Added to that, these proprietary drivers are in a shady legal zone: the GPL states that all 'derived works' have to be GPL too. Under US law, it's a no-brainer that they are derived works from the Linux kernel and thus should be GPL too. Linus however, chooses (up till now) not to enforce that. He's perfectly happy that other people are doing the effort to make Linux work on other hardware, with proprietary drivers or not.
My question is if it isn't time to change that opinion. Because it would benefit everybody involved: community, users, hw device makers, smartphone integrators, ecology and Google.
Community: more opensource software for everybody to benefit from
Users: can upgrade their old smartphones and get rid of bloatware
hw device makers: can focus on selling their hw and supporting the community contributed drivers with less effort
smartphone integrators: don't have to worry about supporting old hw and the associated security risks and liabilities
ecology: old smartphones will be less soon discarded when they can run the latest linux/android builds
Google: has to worry less about version fragmentation, security problems of old android releases and smartphone vendors no longer supporting their users
So it's really a win/win situation for everybody in which Linus has the power to change the world for the better with a simple email :-D